Hello Florida!

So, I’m in Florida, a little over half-way through my ‘me’cation, and have had a lot of ups and couple of downs!  I found the Clearwater Beach Library and just needed to write.  I try to journal, but I’m very undisciplined at it.  Having this blog makes me write for some reason, and I like it!

I had a bit of a panic/stress attack when I got to the hotel on Friday afternoon.  I called my son and my mom and said I wanted to come home the next day and cried to them.  But, after sleeping like a log in my hotel (more about that in a bit), I felt much better!

The hotel isn’t QUITE what I expected when I book with Expedia.  And, that is a major understatement!  I think the last update it had was 1970 or so, and the carpet, walls and bedding show it!  My pillows (they gave me 6…I guess I’m supposed to stack them) feel like someone took a pillow case, shoved a handful of toilet paper in it, and called it a day!  I killed a few bugs, and their friends have now taken up residence.  From what I understand, that’s pretty normal in Florida, but I’m not crazy about crawlies when I’m trying to sleep! :/

Yeesh!!

On Saturday, I walked the beach early in the morning, and found a sand dollar!!  I’ve never found a whole one before!  There are tons of shells, and the beach is fantastic…talcum like sand with amazing views! 

I’ve been sorting through a ton of shells trying to find a sharks tooth. 
I’m just going to buy a damn one down the street and call it a day! 🙂

I’ve watched the sunset on the beach every night I’ve been here.  It’s so beautiful and a really big thing here!  After it goes down, everyone cheers!  BUT, watching EVERY single person on the beach take pics with their partners, while I’m slogging on alone, is a little tough!  It’s very romantic.  For them! 

The food around here is great, and Pier 60 has live entertainment and tons of cool things to do.  You can walk around all day and not get tired of all that you see!

Entrance to Pier 60 Park! 

Grouper Tacos! 🙂

Yesterday, I went to the Scientology Spiritual Headquarters in Clearwater.  I tottered a few miles there over a huge bridge, and it was a bit of a trek but worth it!  I wasn’t allowed in that particular building, but ventured to the Scientology Information Center and saw a bunch of videos, displays, and reading material and had a great conversation with the Scientologist manning the front desk.  She was very sweet, but her answers seemed extremely programmed.  Also, there are a lot of Scientologists walking around and to be honest, it looks a bit creepy!  Everyone wears a white shirt, dark blue pants or skirt, and a blazer.  No one smiled or talked to me, UNLESS I did so first. 

The building is HUGE!  

I teach a lot about Scientology in my Sociology classes, and I’ve read so much about their abuses and how families are destroyed when 1 leaves and becomes an apostate.  It’s so sad that something that COULD have been really helpful to people is used so abusively against them.  Money taken, physical abuses, mental manipulations.  There are too many ex-Scientologists out there for me NOT to believe them.  I also don’t know why they call themselves a church.  In the videos, you hear the word ‘spiritual’ a lot, but never the word God.  Hmmmmm.  I was also surprised by how compelling the info center videos are and how someone could be persuaded to join!  They make it sound like ‘going clear’ will literally give you new life and remove every bad memory you’ve ever created so your brain can start fresh with only good in it.  For someone struggling, this is a powerful message!

This is the information center…I was the only one there for the hour I stayed.

I got a copy of L.Ron Hubbard’s Way to Happiness (which you can read here), where he outlined 21 precepts (rules…I had to look this up!) that we should all live by.  I pretty much agree with most of them (and in the parantheses I wonder if the Scientology org really does it):

  • Take care of yourself
  • Be temperate
  • Don’t be promiscuous 
  • Love and help children (but you separate families if one leaves…they aren’t allowed to have contact again!)
  • Honor and help your parents (see above!)
  • Set a good example (Hmmmmm…)
  • See to live with the truth (another Hmmmmm is necessary here)
  • Do not murder 
  • Don’t do anything illegal (think they have….)
  • Support a government designed and run for all the people
  • Do not harm a person of good will (but you can if you believe they are of bad will
  • Safeguard and improve your environment
  • Do not steal (but you ‘swindle’ people out of their money all of the time!!!!)
  • Be worthy of trust (Hmmm…)
  • Fulfill your obligations
  • Be industrious
  • Be competent
  • Respect the religious beliefs of others (so if someone leaves you…it’s ok??)
  • Try not to do things to others that you would not like them to do to you (so you would like to be stalked, threatened, and harassed yourself?)
  • Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you (see above!)
  • Flourish and prosper
So, the info sounds good on the surface, and makes sense.  But really, L. Ron took Freudian principles along with his weird ideas in terms of science fiction, and put them together to create this ‘religion’ he could be the king of.  L. Ron…why didn’t you use your apparent talent for writing and philosophizing for GOOD???
Today isn’t going so great.  I traipsed to the Clearwater Aquarium which is all about rescue, rehabilitation and release.  It was really cool…I saw sharks, sea turtles, otters, dolphins, sting rays etc.  But I’m having a down day…my depression is bothering me and it’s hard not to share all of this with someone.  There were so many times I wanted to turn to someone and say something about what I was seeing but I couldn’t.  Doing everyday stuff alone isn’t bad…doing fun vacation things alone can be.  
These 2 sweeties are Winter and Hope…the stars of Dolphin Tale!  I got to see them fairly close up but not like this!
So anyhoot, just wanted to write a bit and am going to get to the hotel, kill my new bugs, get ready for the beach, and enjoy the water for a couple of hours.  Just relax.  That sounds pretty good to me. 
No tan yet!  Sigh… 🙂
Kristi xoxo

Author: Kristi

Just a bipolar Professor working to end the stigma of mental illness.

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